Charles Stanley on Spiritual Gifts
Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians addressed a problem in the church. People valued only certain gifts and were focused on who had which ones. Believers with the “better” gifts were esteemed above others, while those with “lesser” abilities weren’t considered as important. Spiritual pride was rampant, which is a problem that can still occur in the church today. We should remember:
Caution #1—God doesn’t give every person the same gift. Each believer receives at least one endowment according to the Spirit’s purposes and choosing. While we are all called to be merciful, some are given the gift of mercy. Their remarkable ability to minister to the hurting and outcasts of society can be explained only through the Holy Spirit.
Caution #2—We can’t tell others, “You should have this gift.” It is God’s business to decide who has which ability. Consider, for example, the gift of faith. When we encounter believers struggling with doubt, we should not criticize them for what they lack. Rather, we should encourage them toward greater faith.
Caution #3—We must not place undue value on certain gifts. All of them are important and necessary to the body. We are to discover which gifts the Holy Spirit has given us and should be content with His decision.
In our zeal to follow Christ, we sometimes view giftedness as a way to assess one’s salvation, spiritual maturity, or importance in the church. We should let go of false ideas about the value of divinely given abilities and celebrate the unique gifting of each individual believer.
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